Celebrity Health – Denise Van Outen

Denise van Outen chats to Liz Parry about her healthy lifestyle and her gruelling training regime for Dancing on Ice

Image of Denise van Outen courtesy of Karis Kennedy

Famed as an actress, singer, dancer and presenter, Denise van Outen is certainly multi-talented. The 46-year-old mum-of-one has been a household name since 1997 when she first appeared on our screens presenting The Big Breakfast on Channel 4. She then went on to star as Roxie Hart in the hit musical Chicago both in the West End and on Broadway. Most recently she has appeared in the ITV singing competition, The Masked Singer, on Channel 4’s Celebrity Gogglebox and on stage in Cabaret All Stars at Proud Embankment London. She can currently be seen competing in ITV’s Dancing on Ice.

Q How are you finding the training regime for Dancing on Ice? Is it challenging?

Denise: It’s a really fun show but it’s so much harder than I thought it would be. It’s very intense and I’m finding that I’m permanently hungry. It’s a combination of being in the cold constantly and also the amount of exercise that we’re doing. I’m training every day so it’s really important that I keep myself healthy and make sure I get all the right nutrients.

Q Do you have any experience of skating?

Denise: I’ve never skated before and I’ve never skied either. If we ever go anywhere where there’s a mini ice rink my daughter will always want me to go on it with her but I’ve always felt too nervous. So when the opportunity came up to do the show I just had a moment where I thought, if I don’t do this now I never will. A couple of weeks ago I was thinking that I’d never get it but I’m getting better. You need to have good core strength. After I’ve finished training I’ll do some arm weights and lots of lunges to keep my muscles strong.

Q Do you like to follow a healthy diet?

Denise: Yes I do. I like to have the odd treat now and then, like a nice glass of red wine at the weekend, but generally I have a healthy diet. I’m 46 now and I’m mindful that I need to look after my body and my health. My daughter Betsy is 10 and I want to make sure that she has a healthy diet too. We try to have a really balanced diet in our home and always make sure we have our five-a-day. I’m proud of the fact that, when given the choice of foods, Betsy will always go for the healthier option. If she’s given the choice between a chocolate bar and a bag of dried mango, she’ll always go for the mango. I feel like we’ve had a big achievement there.

Q What do you eat during a typical day?

Denise: In the mornings we tend to have yogurt with granola topped with dried fruit. Betsy particularly likes dried mango while I’ll have dried raisins or figs. In the afternoon, if I’m skating, I’ll probably have a tuna salad. As I’m so hungry because of all the training, I always make sure I have some healthy snacks with me, so I’ll snack on some dried fruit to keep my energy levels up. Then, in the evening, we’re very lucky that my partner Eddie likes to cook so he will make a healthy dinner for us all. Eddie loves experimenting in the kitchen and he was trying out lots of new things during the first lockdown. We often have vegan meals. We’re not actually vegan, but we’re not big meat eaters. Fearne Cotton is a friend of mine and she sent me a copy of her vegan cookery book, so we’ve been trying various recipes from that and really enjoying them. We’ve had a few vegan curries and stews which have been delicious.

Q Do you take any vitamins or supplements?

Denise: At the moment I’m taking vitamin D and magnesium. I also tend to take a vitamin C supplement during the winter for an extra boost.

Q Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?

Denise: I would say that my New Year’s resolution is to continue going on nice long walks. This past year has obviously been so difficult for everyone, but I try to see the positives in everything. I think that one of the nice things to come out of the pandemic was that we went on really long walks as a family with our dogs when we were allowed to go out and have our exercise. We did lots of exploring and we also went on lots of nice bike rides too. We only moved to where we’re living now a couple of years ago and we’ve discovered all these hidden gems, like the local forest and these amazing walks. That’s something I’d like to do more of, going out as a family, exploring and enjoying being outdoors and being a bit more adventurous.

Denise van Outen has teamed up with The Dried Fruit Alliance on their #EatMoreDriedFruit campaign. Here are some reasons for incorporating more dried fruit in your diet:

  • FIVE-A-DAY: Only 30g of dried fruit is one of your five-a-day.
  • FIBRE: Dried fruit is a good source of fibre. The recommended daily allowance of fibre is 30g. Fibre helps keep your digestive system running smoothly.
  • NUTRIENTS: Dried fruits are some of the most nutrient-rich foods available. The drying process also makes dried fruits incredible nutrient ‘power-houses’.
  • VERSATILITY: Dried fruit is a perfect snack between meals, on top of salads, cereals, yogurts and in smoothies.
  • IMMUNITY: Dried fruits are great sources of iron and copper, which play an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system.

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